Joy is out with her friend when she notices the mysterious black-eyed figures. Strangely, nobody else seems to notice them, and when they approach her, one of them cuts her eye. After visiting the hospital and repairing her injured eye, she experiences strange flashes and sees disturbing things....things that break windows, frighten her to her core, and leave messages for a mysterious "Ink".
Soon she meets Ink, along with his 'sister' Inq, and they are revealed to be the black-eyed strangers responsible for her injury. It turns out Joy has been marked by Ink, he has given her his 'signatura' and she is now his 'lehman'; his companion or lover.
Now Joy must play the part of 'lehman' and pretend to feel fondness towards Ink, and he must do the same towards her. If they're not convincing enough, they could get into a lot of trouble. However this actually turns out to be the least of their troubles as Joy is attacked by grotesque creatures and used against Ink by vengeful and power-hungry members of The Twixt.
This book was SO unique. No love triangle, which I know some people may appreciate. No insta-love. Even the paranormal creatures of The Twixt were unique, they reminded me of the fae and of fantasy creatures associated with fae stories. Yet, they weren't outright labelled as faeries, or trolls, or goblins.
Joy's world and the world of The Twixt were absolutely mesmerizing and I often found myself envious of Joy, while simultaneously cheering her on for the whole book. She was a very likeable character, I could relate to her well and I cared about what happened to her. Even if the world-building and creatures hadn't been as amazing as they actually were, I know I would've kept reading to see what happened to Joy.
Then we have Ink. Ink is many things; a Scribe, a mysterious and ageless paranormal being, the source of Joy's confusion and enlightenment.....but above all he is a fantastic character. He stands out amongst all the other YA male main characters and love interests. I found myself quite envious of Ink as well, with his awesome powers and unique name and whatnot.
As I mentioned earlier, there is no insta-love, the romance is very believable in regards to Joy's situation and the pacing is perfect. The evolution of Ink and Joy's relationship was equal parts exciting, sweet, and emotional.
As for emotions, this book played with mine so much! At first I kind of hated Ink, after all he was the one who injured Joy. But then I started to like him. By the end of the book I loved him! I also felt Joy's emotions like they were my own, I understood her fear and I shared in her sadness. As for the ending, I felt like I was reliving the whole book within those last pages. So many emotions were jam-packed into the end, I found myself putting the book down to process what was happening.
I have to mention my appreciation when it comes to the inclusion of an LGBTQ character. While this character isn't really a main one, they're still a part of Joy's life and are therefore of some importance.
I can't wait to get my hands on book two, I MUST know what happens next. This has earned it's way into my favourites collection, and I am sure the second book will do just the same.
Overall, a fantastic book that I don't have any criticism or complaints about! I recommend this book to YA readers who enjoy fantasy and paranormal books, and to those looking for a unique romance. If you're looking for a 'breath of fresh air' within the young adult genre, this book is a must-read.
This review can also be found at http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogspot.ca/2015/08/indelible-by-dawn-metcalf.html
Plays with your emotions.
Intriguing paranormal creatures.
Author: Dawn Metcalf
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Format: Digital ARC
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Recommended Reading: 13+
Contains no spoilers. Received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
THE GIST: I consider Dawn Metcalf’s novel Indelible YA Perfection. I often struggle with urban fantasy, but THIS is what I hope for all those times I’m disappointed. Indelible contains all the elements that I love in a young adult novel. The characters were great, the love story was super sweet, and the author preserved a youthful innocence in an authentic way without sheltering the audience from more mainstream, mature issues. The story is solid, engaging, and never lags. It’s a great read that doesn’t disappoint on any level. If you’re looking for a young adult urban fantasy with magic, danger, and young love, check out Indelible.
SYNOPSIS: Some things are permanent.
And they cannot be changed back.
Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.
Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.
Somewhere between reality and myth lies…
THE TWIXT. (Goodreads)
BREAKDOWN: Indelible follows 16-year-old Joy Malone, an average girl with a not-so-subtle chip on her shoulder. Joy is swept into a magic “otherworld” after an encounter with a boy whom no one else can see. Suddenly, she’s continually approached by beings from a world she never knew existed, and worse, some of them are violent.
When Joy learns that she’s been claimed by Indelible Ink, a member of the Twixt, her life and Ink’s depend on the two of them posing as lovers convincingly. As Joy journeys further into Ink’s world and attempts to continue functioning in her own, dangers rise and Joy becomes closer than she ever expected to her supposed “master,” Ink.
What I love most about this book are the senses of wonder and youth. Many YA books lately are quite mature and heavy, and while I appreciate that young readers are not naïve, I think Metcalf understands that you can expose your readers to things (like sex, drugs/alcohol, and homosexuality) without the main character necessarily experiencing them. I like Joy’s innocence—she’s refreshing. I also respect her anger with her mother, her confusion over her brother, and her distance from her father. These are real problems, but none overshadow the real story here, which is a journey into a world where magical creatures walk unseen alongside humans.
This is my first time reading Dawn Metcalf, and I’m quite pleased that I gave this novel a shot (despite it being outside of my preferred genres). Metcalf’s writing is refined and skillful, but unlike other “seasoned” writers, she does not sacrifice the youthful voice and wonderful style that make this book so enjoyable. I can’t remember the last time I was this enamored by an author and her word choices. I’m not even sure I could explain why, you just have to see for yourself.
Indelible is a love story, but as I’ve said, it’s a sweet one… an innocent one compared to its more hormonally charged counterparts. There is violence but nothing I would call grotesque or over-the-top. As mentioned before, the book contains references to sex and drug and alcohol use but it’s all witnessed by the main character and doesn’t condone or involve her. It’s mostly a clean book that I’d happily recommend for young and less young readers alike.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Indelible is a sweet, imaginative, and fun read that draws the reader in—a great story told beautifully and skillfully. An easy recommend!
After I saw this beautiful cover for the very first time, I immediately looked up what the unique title actually meant. The dictionary gave me two different definitions that shape the story as a whole, thus picking the perfect title. Indelible is defined as:
1. Not able to be forgotten or removed
2. (of ink or a pen) making marks that cannot be removed
To put it simply, this story has made an incredibly indelible impression on me, and I have no doubt that it will do the same to all who pick it up.
What made this story so awesome was the world-building. Metcalf managed to captivate me from page one because, like Joy, I had no clue what was going on the day that her already damaged world truly spun out of control when a mysterious boy with pitch black eyes stabbed her in the eye, marking her as his own. I so desperately want to sit here and explain this complicated and deliciously complex world to you, but I refuse to do so because one of the things that kept me anxious and on my toes was the potential discovery of a new bit of information involving this world. I want you to experience the thrills of learning about this unique world yourself so that you can truly love this book as much as I did. It's just that worth it! Metcalf's world-building was superb, I have no other way to describe it.
And, let me tell you, the characterization was not half bad either. I enjoyed Joy because of her acceptance of the crazy circumstances that is her life. Her best friend, Monica, and her love of sex and innuendo despite being the youth group leader at church brought up a lot of laughs. But what I really loved were the characters found in The Twixt--our monstrous world full of the myths that you never hoped come true.
To begin, Ink and Inq. Indelible Ink and Invisible Inq. Siblings, two completely different personalities, Scribes of The Twixt to mark humans with the signs of their twixt counterparts. One boy, one girl = an awesome twosome of siblings without actually being directly related. See, Ink and Inq were brought to be to serve a purpose, they were not born into this world. Thus, they have to endure this infinite struggle against humanity, observing it and melding themselves to be more human, yet not entirely succeeding because they aren't human. While Inq is mischievous and tends to humanize herself with many good-lucking male slaves, Ink has always been careful not to leave his mark on anyone until Joy came along. Watching Ink's desperation and his journey and yearning to discover himself and to come to terms with his existence was astounding. It makes his discovery of humanity all the more powerful. And it makes the soon to be infamous ear scene all the more delicious and mesmerizing. Yes, ears. You heard me. Read it and you will totally love ears too! Everything from their onyx eyes to their doll hands lacking knuckles, the absence of belly-buttons, and their little shell ears made me feel for Ink and Inq. They had to shape themselves from shapeless molds to parallel humanity, and after a lengthy existence they're still struggling to understand what it's really like to be human and feel. This part of the novel truly resonated with me and got a girl thinking, you know?
Plus, I have to throw a shout out to Bailiwick in there. My first impression of you, dear humongous toad monster that I now love, is that such a name was not a good name for a breed of monster since it was more fit for a butler. But you and your lovely spats--have I mentioned that I love Metcalf's sense of humor? Because I do!--have earned a special place in my heart as a trusted confidant!
Metcalf's writing shines through not only with her amazing world building, but her attention to detail and easy ability to invoke passionate emotions within her readers. I was holding my breathe while reading about first kisses, my heart beat fast when new, scary monsters introduced themselves. And worse, I feared the destruction of all humanity alongside Joy when the hatred of some Twixt creatures arose as their scheme to rid the world of all humans began to be exposed. She has the ability to make her plot points resonate with us, and I could not let go. Plus, the emotional relationship between Ink and Joy was so amazing. Watching him learn to love and her learn to love in their own ways was astounding. And seeing a girl who realizes the moment she loves someone, but doesn't blurt it out to the world in a fast and annoying case of insta-love was rather amazing, too.
However, with that being said, I have one small issue with this story. As much as I want to connect to a character and I want them to have a back-story, I felt as if Joy's actually took away from the plot. She had a lot of family drama and a mother who I'm not quite a fan of. This nasty family-drama monster chose to rear its head at the most inopportune times and I felt that it often took away from the plot because I was so wrapped up in the Twixt that I nearly began to hate her reality. I wanted to be in the Twixt and not in her reality. While I think this could easily have been intentional on Metcalf's part, it did frustrate me at times.
Dark, gritty, and real, I could not put this book down. Full of passionate emotions, beautiful detail, amazing world-building, unexpected surprises, and absolutely marvelous characterization, Metcalf's amazing writing style truly shines through and leaves you begging for more. Book two, I need you now because book one is sticking with me for quite some time.
INDELIBLE, you are simply indelible.
Warning: this book does have a few crude sexual remarks in it and is rather graphic and detailed during violent yet completely awesome fight scenes and all-out battles. If any of this bothers you, this may not be a good book for you.